PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — A local church and a community support organization are investing in some small businesses, trying to help them grow.

The LEAD Coalition and Macedonia Baptist Church awarded three business owners a $5,000 micro-loan. 

They were among 30 business owners who took part in the Cornerstone Program.

That’s a free six-week workshop that teaches business fundamentals like creating business plans and developing budgets and marketing plans.

Photographer Sharon Lawrence said the money is a huge boost to her business.   

“This is going to help me to go further to get more classes, more photography classes, because I tell everybody I don’t know everything,” Lawrence said. “I want to learn as much as I can in this photography business.”

Event planner Linda Cherry and childhood consultant Patricia Prior also received micro-loans.

Below is more information and contacts for each of the businesses:

Sharon Lawrence – AMJ Photography by SJ Lawrence

Linda Cherry – Cherry Love Entertainment

Patricia Prior – Prior Knowledge Early Childhood Consultant (850) 319-5364